Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Executive Committee (NEC) has endorsed the zoning of the national chairmanship of the party to the North as recommended by the 44-member committee led by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.
The NEC also deferred deliberation on the zoning of the 2023 presidential ticket to another of its meetings.
The PDP national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, disclosed this to newsmen after yesterday after the meeting of the NEC at party’s national secretariat in Abuja,
Protests had heralded the NEC meeting as supporters of those against the zoning of the national chairmanship to the North stormed the party’s secretariat with placards and banners alleging moves to shortchange the region.
The inscriptions on the placards of the protesters, read, “What did the North do to PDP; Stop cheating the North; Wike brought Sheriff; Wike brought Secondus; Now he wants to the turn of the North; PDP, give North their rights” and “Two years of North vs 13 years of South”.
Also, former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, who is nursing presidential ambition, told the national leadership of the PDP that Nigerians reserve the right to vote for whom they want just as the party has the right to determine how it should be governed.
Atiku called on the party to be fair and just in determining how it zones the 2023 presidential ticket, noting that the decision of the party would decide whether it returns to power or not.
The former vice president said he rejected a request by governors and some PDP members to contest against his boss former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003.
He also revealed that the winner of the 1993 presidential election, Late Chief MKO Abiola was killed. Although he declined to name who killed Abiola.
But a drama ensued as former minister of information, Professor Jerry Gana, cast a shadow of doubt over Atiku’s narrative while responding to Atiku’s call to corroborate his story, said “more or less”
Atiku said, “Where the president comes from has never been the problem of Nigeria. There is no such thing as a president from southern Nigeria, or a president from northern Nigeria. There is only one president from Nigeria, for Nigeria, by Nigerians. Talking about inclusion, I would like to see a new national working committee of our party, our great party that has sizable numbers of our youth and women.
“Now let me come to historical events, which I said I was going to cite. Those of us who served in the constitutional conference, which drafted the current constitution of Nigeria. Sure, remember that after we finished the draft of that constitution, we all met as members of the constitutional conference and resolved to correct the injustice that was done to a particular part of this country.
“And we said in whichever party you found yourself, your presidential candidate must come from the southwest because Abiola had won election, not only did he win, he was killed. So, we all agreed as members, and we went out of the constitutional conference, and we formed our parties, those of us formed PDP, others formed ANPP and AD. At the end of the day, there were two alliances in two parties. PDP brought General Obasanjo, ANPP brought Olu Falae. This is to show you that Nigerians have a sense of fairness.”
At the meeting, PDP national chairman, Elder Yemi Akinwonmi, said, “Today is a day of making history in the life and survival of this great party PDP which Nigerians are eagerly waiting to take them out of the challenges of socio-political vices created by the political party in power, the APC.
“At this juncture, I call on us to understand our differences reflect them and when not necessary, forget them. We should look at our party and Nigeria and bury all our personal differences. Because the PDP is above any personal, individual or collective consideration,” he said.
Speaking also at the meeting, the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, who assured of the governors’ continued support for the party, said the leaders “must use their experience, wisdom and decorum in addressing the issues.”
Meanwhile, the suspended national chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, has said he won’t withdraw his case in court.
Secondus, who stated this in a statement yesterday titled “blackmail mission to hijack and destroy PDP”, said since the orchestrated plan to hijack the soul of our great party by one of the governors, there has been unrestrained blackmail against him.
He described as baseless lies against him that he was not meeting up with his obligations at his ward level in Rivers State which formed the basis on which his opponents approached the court to get the purported interim order.
According to the statement signed by his media aide, Ike Abonyi, he said “After the interim order based on such a frivolous story, the said governor and his errand boys went ahead to get the court ruling against Prince Secondus.